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Latest Archaeology Reports

Neanderthals

The oldest Neanderthal DNA of Central-Eastern Europe

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Archaeology News Report – 59 minutes ago
[image: IMAGE] IMAGE: AERIAL VIEW OF STAJNIA CAVE. view more CREDIT: MARCIN ?ARSKI Around 100,000 years ago, the climate worsened abruptly and the environment of Central-Eastern Europe shifted from forested to open steppe/taiga habitat, promoting the dispersal of wooly mammoth, wooly rhino and other cold adapted species from the Arctic. Neanderthals living in these territories suffered severe demographic contractions due to the new ecological conditions and only returned to the areas above 48° N latitude during climatic ameliorations. However, in spite of the discontinuous settlemen… more »

How Neanderthals adjusted to climate change

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Archaeology News Report – 1 week ago
German-Italian research project investigates different cutting tools from the Sesselfelsgrotte cave. UNIVERSITY OF ERLANGEN-NUREMBERG SHARE PRINT E-MAIL Climate change occurring shortly before their disappearance triggered a complex change in the behaviour of late Neanderthals in Europe: they developed more complex tools. This is the conclusion reached by a group of researchers from Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) and Università degli Studi die Ferrara (UNIFE) on the basis of finds in the Sesselfelsgrotte cave in Lower Bavaria. Neanderthals lived approxi… more »

DNA from an ancient, unidentified ancestor was passed down to humans living today

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Archaeology News Report – 4 weeks ago
New algorithm suggests that early humans and related species interbred early and often PLOS SHARE PRINT E-MAIL A new analysis of ancient genomes suggests that different branches of the human family tree interbred multiple times, and that some humans carry DNA from an archaic, unknown ancestor. Melissa Hubisz and Amy Williams of Cornell University and Adam Siepel of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory report these findings in a study published 6th August in *PLOS Genetics*. Roughly 50,000 years ago, a group of humans migrated out of Africa and interbred with Neanderthals in Eurasia. B… more »
Israel

Magnificent remains of a royal structure from the time of the Kings of Judah

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Archaeology News Report – 1 day ago
Who was privileged to live in the monumental structure possessing a breathtaking view of the City of David and the Temple, which was uncovered in an archeological excavation on the Armon Hanatziv (Commissioner’s Palace, also known as Governor’s House) Promenade? Was it one of the Kings of Judah, or was it perhaps a Jerusalemite family of nobility and wealth during the First Temple period? A rare, impressive, and very special collection of several dozen adorned architectural stone artifacts, which together were part of a magnificent structure, was discovered in the Antiquities Autho… more

3,200-year-old fort, site of epic battles in biblical era, found in south Israel

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Archaeology News Report – 2 weeks ago
[image: A 3,200-year-old citadel unearthed near Guvrin Stream and Kibbutz Gal On, August 2020. (Emil Aladjem/Israel Antiquities Authority)] A 3,200-year-old citadel unearthed near Guvrin Stream and Kibbutz Gal On, August 2020. (Emil Aladjem/Israel Antiquities Authority) A 3,200-year-old Canaanite citadel where epic battles were fought during biblical times has been unearthed near the southern Israeli city of Kiryat Gat, the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) announced Sunday. The 12th century BCE fort next to Kibbutz Gal On and the Guvrin Stream, some 70 kilometers (40 miles) south of… more »

A seal and a seal impression discovered in the City of David bears witness to the restoration of the city in the period of Ezra and Nehemiah

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Archaeology News Report – 4 weeks ago
Revealed in archaeological excavations by the Israel Antiquities Authority and Tel Aviv University in the Givati Parking Lot Excavation of the City of David, in the Jerusalem Walls National Park The new findings may indicate that despite the plight of Jerusalem after the destruction of the First Temple, efforts were made to restore the stature of the administrative authorities. The impression depicts a man sitting on a large chair – probably a king – and in front of his columns. The findings will be displayed tomorrow (Wednesday) at the 5th “Jerusalem Days” conference of Yad Ben-… more »

Megalithic Structures in the Golan and the Galilee Reveal Rock Art of a Mysterious Ancient Culture

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Archaeology News Report – 4 weeks ago
*A new study presents, for the first time, ancient rock art discovered recently in the Yehudiya Nature Reserve. The rock art, over 4,200 years old, is engraved on the walls of megalithic burials called “dolmens.” In an article recently published, Israel Antiquities Authority and Tel-Hai College researchers report on four different sites where dolmen builders engraved artistic motifs on the walls of the enormous structures they erected, opening a window to the mysterious culture of the ancient builders.* Millions of visitors to the Yehudiya Nature Reserve have no idea that their fo… more »

A significant administrative storage center from the days of Kings Hezekiah and Menashe uncovered in Jerusalem near the US Embassy

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Archaeology News Report – 4 weeks ago
*Over 120 seal impressions stamped on jars found in the Arnona neighborhood of Jerusalem provide a sneak-peek into tax collection in the period of the Judean monarchs. * *The excavations in Arnona, conducted by the Israel Antiquities Authority, were funded by the Israel Land Authority and administrated by the Moriah Jerusalem Development Corporation and revealed one of the largest and most important collections of seal impressions uncovered in Israel. The impressions were stamped with the letters “LMLK” (to the King) written in ancient Hebrew script and the name of an ancient city i… more »

A 1,300-year old church, apparently part of a monastery, was uncovered in the village of Kfar Kama, near Mount Tabor

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Archaeology News Report – 4 weeks ago
*The church was discovered in Kfar Kama, in archaeological excavations carried out by the Israel Antiquities Authority, in collaboration with the Kinneret Academic College and local volunteers * The discovery in the Galilee excited the Head of the Greek Catholic Church in Israel, who personally came to visit the site * The excavation was conducted before the construction of a playground, at the initiative of the Kfar Kama Local Council and the Jewish National Fund.* A 1,300year-old church, with ornate mosaic floors, was recently revealed in an excavation in the Circassian village of… more »
Americas

Drone survey reveals large earthwork at ancestral Wichita site in Kansas

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Archaeology News Report – 5 days ago
Results show possible council circle at what may be Etzanoa near Wichita DARTMOUTH COLLEGE Research News SHARE PRINT E-MAIL [image: IMAGE] IMAGE: LEFT: DRONE-ACQUIRED ORTHOIMAGE OF THE SITE SHOWING MAJOR FEATURES DISCUSSED IN THE PAPER. RIGHT: THERMAL IMAGES MOSAIC COLLECTED FROM 11:15 PM-12:15 AM. (IMAGES FROM FIGURE 6 OF THE STUDY)…. view more CREDIT: IMAGES BY JESSE CASANA, ELISE JAKOBY LAUGIER, AND AUSTIN CHAD HILL. A Dartmouth-led study using multisensor drones has revealed a large circular earthwork at what may be Etzanoa, an archaeological site near Wichita, Kansas. Arc… more »

Analysis of ancient Mesoamerican sculptures supports universality of emotional expressions

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Archaeology News Report – 2 weeks ago
Universal facial expressions uncovered in art of the ancient Americas: A computational approach AMERICAN ASSOCIATION FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF SCIENCE SHARE PRINT E-MAIL An analysis of facial expressions in ancient Mesoamerican sculptures finds that some emotions expressed in these artworks match the emotions that modern U.S. participants would anticipate for each discernible context, including elation, sadness, pain, anger, and determination or strain. For instance, elation was predicted in the context of social touch while anger was predicted in the context of combat. The result… more »

Ancient shell llama offering found in lake Titicaca

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Archaeology News Report – 5 weeks ago
PENN STATE SHARE PRINT E-MAIL [image: IMAGE] IMAGE: STONE BOX WITH CARVED SHELL LLAMA AND ROLLED GOLD FOIL view more CREDIT: TEDDY SEQUIN A llama carved from a spondylus shell and a cylindrical laminated gold foil object were the contents of a carved stone box — an offering — found at the bottom of Lake Titicaca, according to researchers from Penn State and the Université libre de Bruxelles, Belgium. The offering, found near an island in the lake, was not located where others had found offerings in the past. “We knew they (Inca) did some form of ritual offerings and that they… more »
Asia

How climate change led to fall of ancient civilization

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Archaeology News Report – 5 days ago
SHARE PRINT E-MAIL [image: IMAGE] IMAGE: THIS FIGURE SHOWS THE SETTLEMENTS OF THE INDUS VALLEY CIVILIZATION DURING DIFFERENT PHASES OF ITS EVOLUTION. RIT ASSISTANT PROFESSOR NISHANT MALIK DEVELOPED A MATHEMATICAL METHOD THAT SHOWS CLIMATE CHANGE LIKELY… view more CREDIT: RIT A Rochester Institute of Technology researcher developed a mathematical method that shows climate change likely caused the rise and fall of an ancient civilization. In an article recently featured in the journal *Chaos: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Nonlinear Science*, Nishant Malik, assistant prof… more »

Ancient mammoth ivory carving technology reconstructed by archeologists

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Archaeology News Report – 1 week ago
SIBERIAN FEDERAL UNIVERSITY SHARE PRINT E-MAIL [image: IMAGE] IMAGE: A TEAM OF ARCHEOLOGISTS FROM SIBERIAN FEDERAL UNIVERSITY AND NOVOSIBIRSK STATE UNIVERSITY PROVIDED A DETAILED RECONSTRUCTION OF A TECHNOLOGY THAT WAS USED TO CARVE ORNAMENTS AND SCULPTURES FROM MAMMOTH IVORY…. view more CREDIT: LBOVA L. / 2020, ARCHAEOLOGICAL RESEARCH IN ASIA A team of archeologists from Siberian Federal University and Novosibirsk State University provided a detailed reconstruction of a technology that was used to carve ornaments and sculptures from mammoth ivory. The team studied a string …more »
Near East

Vast stone monuments constructed in Arabia 7,000 years ago

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Archaeology News Report – 1 week ago
FULL STORY —————————— In a new study published in *The Holocene*, researchers from the Max Planck Society in Jena together with Saudi and international collaborators, present the first detailed study of ‘mustatil’ stone structures in the Arabian Desert. These are vast structures made of stone piled into rectangles, which are some of the oldest large-scale structures in the world. They give insights into how early pastoralists survived in the challenging landscapes of semi-arid Arabia. The last decade has seen rapid development in the archaeology of Saudi Arabia. R… more »

Cremation in the Middle-East dates as far back as 7,000 B.C.

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Archaeology News Report – 3 weeks ago
Cremated remains from Israel signify a 7th-millennium cultural shift in funeral practices PLOS SHARE PRINT E-MAIL [image: IMAGE] IMAGE: PICTURE OF BONES IN SITU: A. SEGMENT OF AXIAL SKELETON: RIBS AND VERTEBRAE EXPOSED IN THE MIDDLE OF THE STRUCTURE. B. RIGHT COXAL IN SITU; PRESERVED ALMOST COMPLETE BY A… view more CREDIT: BOCQUENTIN ET AL, 2020 (PLOS ONE, CC BY) Ancient people in the Near East had begun the practice of intentionally cremating their dead by the beginning of the 7th millennium BC, according to a study published August 12, 2020 in the open-access journal *PLOS… more »

Evidence of the path of modern humans leaving Africa 100,000 years ago, was discovered in Dimona

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Archaeology News Report – 4 weeks ago
*Local youths working with the Israel Antiquities Authority uncovered the Stone Age site during the summer * This is the first place in Israel where in situ evidence has been found of the particular stone knapping technology used by humans who left Africa * The discovery was revealed in an archeological excavation facilitating the construction of a solar energy field and was underwritten by the Israel Electric Company* Recent excavations conducted by the Israel Antiquities Authority together with local youths from Dimona, in preparation for the construction of a solar energy field … more »

Native American stone tool technology found in Arabia

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Archaeology News Report – 4 weeks ago
CNRS SHARE PRINT E-MAIL [image: IMAGE] IMAGE: STONE FLUTED POINTS DATING BACK SOME 8,000 TO 7,000 YEARS AGO, WERE DISCOVERED ON ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITES IN MANAYZAH, YEMEN AND AD-DAHARIZ, OMAN. UNTIL NOW, THE PREHISTORIC TECHNIQUE OF FLUTING HAD… view more CREDIT: © JÉRÉMIE VOSGES / CNRS Stone fluted points dating back some 8,000 to 7,000 years ago, were discovered on archaeological sites in Manayzah, Yemen and Ad-Dahariz, Oman. Spearheads and arrowheads were found among these distinctive and technologically advanced projectile points. Until now, the prehistoric technique of … more »
Europe

Lactose tolerance spread throughout Europe in only a few thousand years

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Archaeology News Report – 5 days ago
Palaeogeneticists at Mainz University have found evidence of lactase persistence in only a small proportion of human bones from the Bronze Age battlefield in the Tollense valley JOHANNES GUTENBERG UNIVERSITAET MAINZ Research News SHARE PRINT E-MAIL [image: IMAGE] IMAGE: BRONZE AGE SKULL IN SITU IN THE TOLLENSE VALLEY. view more CREDIT: PHOTO/©: STEFAN SAUER/TOLLENSE VALLEY PROJECT The human ability to digest the milk sugar lactose after infancy spread throughout Central Europe in only a few thousand years. This is the conclusion reached by an international research team led by J… more »

Bronze Age tradition of keeping human remains

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Archaeology News Report – 6 days ago
SHARE PRINT E-MAIL [image: IMAGE] IMAGE: UNIQUE PRONGED BRONZE OBJECT FROM THE WILSFORD G58 BURIAL FOUND ALONGSIDE THE HUMAN BONE MUSICAL INSTRUMENT. view more CREDIT: WILTSHIRE MUSEUM, COPYRIGHT UNIVERSITY OF BIRMINGHAM/DAVID BUKACHIT Using radiocarbon dating and CT scanning to study ancient bones, researchers have uncovered for the first time a Bronze Age tradition of retaining and curating human remains as relics over several generations. While the findings, led by the University of Bristol and published in the journal *Antiquity*, may seem eerie or even gruesome by today’s c… more »

Helminth infections common in Medieval Europe

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Archaeology News Report – 1 week ago
PRINT E-MAIL [image: IMAGE] IMAGE: PHOTOMICROGRAPH OF A TRICHURIS TRICHIURA EGG FROM AN ARCHAEOLOGICAL DEPOSIT. view more CREDIT: ADRIAN SMITH AND PATRIK FLAMMER, UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD, UK Although helminth infections–including tapeworms and roundworms–are among the world’s top neglected diseases, they are no longer endemic in Europe. However, researchers reporting in *PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases* report that these infections were common in Medieval Europe, according to grave samples analyzed from across the continent. Helminths are parasitic worms and they infect an estimate… more »

Atlantic sturgeon in the king’s pantry — unique discovery in Baltic sea wreck from 1495

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Archaeology News Report – 1 week ago
Researchers at Lund University in Sweden can now reveal what the Danish King Hans had planned to offer when laying claim to the Swedish throne in 1495: a two-metre-long Atlantic sturgeon. The well-preserved fish remains were found in a wreck on the bottom of the Baltic Sea last year, and species identification was made possible through DNA analysis. At midsummer in 1495, the Danish King Hans was en route from Copenhagen to Kalmar, Sweden, on the royal flagship Gribshunden. Onboard were the most prestigious goods the Danish royal court could pr… more »

Medieval texts reveal false Royal Navy origins

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Archaeology News Report – 2 weeks ago
FLINDERS UNIVERSITY SHARE PRINT E-MAIL Alfred the Great, King of Wessex from 871 and King of the Anglo-Saxons from 886 to 899, is widely touted as establishing England’s first Royal fleet but research led by Flinders Medieval Studies PhD candidate Matt Firth has found evidence that the Anglo-Saxons’ first recorded naval victory occurred 20 years before Alfred was crowned King of Wessex and 24 years before his first recorded naval victory. The research – Kingship and Maritime Power in 10th?Century England, by Matthew Firth and Erin Sebo – has been published in the *International… more »

Syphilis may have spread through Europe before Columbus

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Archaeology News Report – 2 weeks ago
Syphilis is a sexually transmitted disease — and while commonly dismissed due to the availability of modern treatments, it is in fact spreading at an alarming rate: Over the last decades, more than 10 million people around the world have been infected with the syphilis subspecies pallidum of the Treponema pallidum bacteria. Other treponematoses, such as yaws and bejel, are caused by other subspecies of Treponema pallidum. The origins of syphilis, which wreaked havoc in Europe from the late 15th to the 18th century, are still unclear. The most popular hypothesis so far holds Christo… more »

Remains of 17th century bishop support neolithic emergence of tuberculosis

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Archaeology News Report – 3 weeks ago
Bishop Peder Winstrup of Lund, Sweden passed away in the winter of 1679 at the age of 74 and was interred in a crypt at Lund Cathedral; three centuries later, his astonishingly well-preserved remains provide insights to the origins of tuberculosis MAX PLANCK INSTITUTE FOR THE SCIENCE OF HUMAN HISTORY SHARE PRINT E-MAIL [image: IMAGE] IMAGE: PORTRAIT OF BISHOP PEDER JENSEN WINSTRUP view more CREDIT: ORF3US / CC BY-SA (HTTPS://CREATIVECOMMONS.ORG/LICENSES/BY-SA/3.0) When Anthropologist Caroline Arcini and her colleagues at the Swedish Natural Historical Museum discovered small cal… more »
Africa

New neural network differentiates Middle and Late Stone Age toolkits

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Archaeology News Report – 1 week ago
By analyzing the tool forms that frequently occur together, researchers have developed a neural network that reliably distinguishes between Middle and Later Stone Age assemblages MAX PLANCK INSTITUTE FOR THE SCIENCE OF HUMAN HISTORY SHARE PRINT E-MAIL [image: IMAGE] IMAGE: MIDDLE AND LATER STONE AGE POPULATIONS INHABITED A VARIETY OF LANDSCAPES PRESENT IN EASTERN AFRICA, SUCH AS THE OPEN SAVANNAHS IN THE OMO BASIN OR TROPICAL COASTAL FORESTS AT PANGA… view more CREDIT: LEFT: M. GROVE; RIGHT: J. BLINKHORN MSA toolkits first appear some 300 thousand years ago, at the same time a… more »

Humans prepared beds to sleep on right at the dawn of our species — over 200 000 years ago

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Archaeology News Report – 3 weeks ago
UNIVERSITY OF THE WITWATERSRAND SHARE PRINT E-MAIL [image: IMAGE] IMAGE: BORDER CAVE IN THE LEBOMBO MOUNTAINS. PANORAMA FROM DRONE IMAGES. A. KRUGER view more CREDIT: A. KRUGER Researchers in South Africa’s Border Cave, a well-known archaeological site perched on a cliff between eSwatini (Swaziland) and KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa, have found evidence that people have been using grass bedding to create comfortable areas for sleeping and working on at least 200 000 years ago. These beds, consisting of sheaves of grass of the broad-leafed Panicoideae subfamily were placed near… more »
Australia

Australian Indigenous banana cultivation found to go back over 2,000 years

Jonathan Kantrowitz at Archaeology News Report – 3 weeks ago
Findings help dispel the view that Australia’s first peoples were ‘only hunter gatherers’ AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL UNIVERSITY SHARE PRINT E-MAIL [image: IMAGE] IMAGE: ANCIENT BANANA CULTIVATION SITE AT WAGADAGAM, MABUYAG ISLAN, TORRES STRAITview more CREDIT: ANU Archaeologists at The Australian National University (ANU) have found the earliest evidence of Indigenous communities cultivating bananas in Australia. The evidence of cultivation and plant management dates back 2,145 years and was found at Wagadagam on the tiny island of Mabuyag in the western Torres Strait. The site compr… more »